Hampshire Constabulary

Crime prevention advice issued after man loses thousands of pounds in scam

Press release   •   Feb 20, 2019 14:42 GMT

We are urging people to warn friends and relatives after a man from Portsmouth lost £27,000 to fraudsters.

The man received a letter claiming to be from Virgin Media reporting that there had been potential fraudulent activity on his account.The letter advised him not to check his bank details online until the issue had been resolved.

He then received a call from someone, described as having a strong accent, claiming to be from Virgin Media who told him his account had been subject of fraud. During a phone call of a number of hours, the fraudster was able to obtain the victims bank details and gain remote access to his computer. He claimed he was carrying out a security check of the computer and he had located several issues which needed to be remedied. During the call the fraudster was able to gain access to the victims bank account details and as a result was able to withdraw £27,000.

PC Jackie Conners, said: “If you receive a letter from a company claiming that your account has been subject of fraud it is important that you obtain a contact number for the company either from their web page or from a previous genuine bills. Do not call the number on the letter. If this is genuine correspondance you can call the company on their main number and they will be able to put you through to the correct department.

“If you are contacted directly by someone claiming to be from a company, request their details and which department they are from. Ask then for a reference number and advise them that you will contact them back using the main number for the company. Do not allow them to pursuade you otherwise. If they are genuine they will have no issue with this course of action.

“Always ensure that the phone line is clear. Often fraudsters will not hang up which could lead you to believe that you are speaking to someone else when infact you are still talking to the fraudster. If in doubt hang up and unplug your phone to clear the line prior to using it again.

“If anyone asks for remote access to your computer do not allow this and do not provide your bank details if requested.

“No genuine company would request remote access to your computer or ask you to disclose your security information linked to your bank account.

“Please pass this information on to your friends, family and neighbours so we can help prevent incidents like this in the future.”